There are quite a few people that motivate me in different aspect of life – celebrities, other bloggers, writers; however, out of all of them, my mom is probably my greatest role model. My mom is a very strong woman, who knows how to make the best out of any situation. When faced with an obstacle, she will not sit around waiting for the circumstances to turn in her favor; instead she will take the situation under control and figure out the best solution, both for her and for the people around her. She has got a great, giving heart and an amazing personality which make her the life of any party. Regardless of what I am dealing with, I know I can always talk to my mom and things will be better in just a matter of a few minutes we speak.
Last week, in one of our daily conversation, we started discussing how lately we have not been good ourselves. Between the work stress, not getting enough sleep, not getting enough exercise and on top of all of that eating who knows what, no wonder our bodies and minds are not in their best state. So my mom made a decision right then and there – to start exercising and eat clean. Nothing too overwhelming, just a healthy way of living. I highly encouraged her and thought that I would need a few more days of indulgence (aka eating crappy foods) and then I will start with her. So I gave myself a week and decided that starting this weekend I will return to my previous diet, with a few modifications.
When I say ‘diet’ I don’t mean a weight-loss diet; the diet I am referring to is more of a lifestyle. Just to give you an idea of why this ‘diet’ is so important to me, in 2008 I was diagnosed with a medical condition that had a massive impact on my life. For the next four years I was in the hospital every eight weeks getting treatment for my disease just to keep it under control. “This is a chronic disease and unfortunately you will not be able to cure it. You will have to learn to live with it for the rest of your life” were the words my doctor would use in every single of my visits. This is not exactly something an eighteen-year-old girl would want to hear. But it was what it was and I was ready to surrender to the frequent hospital visits, limitless medications and constant discomfort due to the illness. However, after I moved to New York in 2012 my insurance was cancelled and I realized that the treatment had to stop, as I would not be able to afford it. After I got the letter of cancellation, I tried to appeal it explaining that I cannot afford the treatment I was getting (we found out that one such treatment, which I was getting every 8 weeks, cost anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000). I remember going to bed every night and crying my eyes out as I did not know what to expect. I had just moved to the city of dreams, I had just started my new job, I had just started my life as an independent adult, and in one brief paragraph that letter was ruining it all. I knew I would not be able to go on if my disease got out of control. I also knew that there must be something else, some Plan B to help me cope with the situation at stake. The answer came unexpected as it usually happens in situations like this. I came across a book with this specific diet that apparently treats conditions like mine. I cannot even remember how I found it, but for the next few days all of my attention in my spare time was dedicated to reading this book. I was eager to start this new lifestyle. I knew it would be hard and sometime almost impossible to stick to the diet 100%, as it was very restrictive, but I also knew that this may be my way out. I decided not to wait to hear back about my appeal letter and start the diet immediately. Long story short – the diet worked. For around six months I followed it religiously, without any cheat days, or cheat meals, and I am sure that that persistence is what truly made it work. Now I am on and off with my diet, being more off than on. And it shows. I know I am not supposed to eat as freely, but I still do, and when I do it is so hard to get back on track. So now that I’ve had quite a few weeks of eating anything and everything, I want to return to that lifestyle (not as strict this time though). As they say, “we are what we eat” and I completely agree with that! There are so many other joys in our lives besides eating something that is clearly bad for you but tastes good. When you are healthy, everything just starts following into place. You get more energy, you get a more positive outlook on life, you get to do and to enjoy more things. It is time to start caring for ourselves, it is time to be good to ourselves because we all deserve the best, but we just have to do something to get it.
One of the greatest things about New York is its abundance of healthy cafes and shops. This city makes it easy to eat well (why do I still opt out for the bad stuff? I have not idea!)